Dom Serafini Reports: Highlights from the L.A. Screenings 2024

Dom Serafini Reports: Highlights from the L.A. Screenings 2024
Here is a summary directly from the L.A. Screenings (May, 15-22, 2024) * by the esteemed Dom Serafini, chief editor of VideoAge.

This year, U.S. studios were eager to take control of the L.A. Screenings from independents. The event started on Saturday at Paramount, followed by Lionsgate in the afternoon and a party at Santa Monica Pier. Argentina’s Telefilms concluded the independent screenings with an event at the Century Plaza Hotel.

Studios were keen to showcase their new series for the 2024-2025 season for TV and streaming. To demonstrate their enthusiasm, they hosted more parties than ever before, although less grandiose than pre-pandemic times. Major parties included those by Lionsgate, Fox, and Disney, with other studios (NBCUni, WB, and Sony) hosting events throughout the week of May 18-23.

The amount of new licensable content has decreased, and rising accommodation costs in Los Angeles have reduced the number of buyers from Latin America, with other regions sending fewer buyers as well. MIP Cancun has also influenced this change, as some Latin American buyers preferred the all-expenses-paid Mexican market in November. Despite these changes, the studios’ recreational aspects at L.A. Screenings remain significant attractions.

Lionsgate held special screenings for Hal & Harper, The Hunting Wives, Fake, and Border Line. Paramount Global Content Distribution showcased three new series and clips from 12 new titles, including Transformers One.They screened full episodes of The Darkness, Happy Face, and Average Joe. Disney presented High Potential, Clipped, The Veil, and Under the Bridge, along with three local productions for Latin buyers.

While content quality is good, licensing rights are inconsistent, often unavailable in territories with the studios’ streaming services. Some territories even have “co-exclusive” rights.

U.S. networks added new series: NBC introduced Brilliant Minds, St. Denis Medical, and Happy’s Place; ABC picked up High Potential, Scamanda, and Doctor Odyssey; FOX added Rescue: Hi-Surf, DOC, Going Dutch, Universal Basic Guys, and Murder in a Small Town. CBS announced NCIS: Origins, Matlock, Poppa’s House, Georgie & Mandy’s First Marriage, and Watson" for mid-season.

* The LA Screenings in 2024 were held from May 15-22. The event begins with the LA Screenings Independents, featuring smaller studios and distributors, which will take place from May 15-17 at the Fairmont Century Plaza Hotel. Following this, the major studios present their latest shows at their respective lots from May 18-22. During this time, the studios often host events such as cocktail receptions, luncheons, or dinners with talent and executives.
The LA Screenings in 2024 span over a week, with the Independents portion happening from May 15-17 and the major studios' presentations taking place from May 18-22.